Malaysia reopens submarine probe, questions former PM Najib

Malaysia reopens submarine probe, questions former PM Najib

By: 
Reuters
20/11/18, 07:50 pm

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 20): Malaysian anti-graft authorities have reopened investigations into a contentious submarine deal 16 years ago involving former prime minister Najib Razak, the latest corruption probe facing the embattled Najib.

Since losing a May election, Najib has been charged with multiple criminal offences and has been subject to corruption investigations, some linked to a multi-billion dollar scandal at state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Najib has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Investigators with the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) are now also looking at whether there had been any kickbacks in the sale of two Scorpene-class submarines to Malaysia by French warship builder DCN International (DCNI) in 2002, when Najib was defense minister, according to local daily The Star, citing MACC sources.

One source cited by The Star said Najib was summoned to give a statement on the submarine deal on Monday and that investigators will be taking statements from others, including Najib's former aide, Abdul Razak Baginda, who is being investigated by French financial prosecutors over the deal.

DCNI later became a new entity called DCNS, which in turn rebranded itself as Naval Group last year. French defence company Thales owns around a third of Naval Group.

French authorities began investigating the deal after Malaysian human rights group Suaram alleged the sale resulted in some US$130 million of commissions being paid to a company linked to Najib.

Last August, French prosecutors said they had placed two former executives at Thales and DCNS under preliminary investigation as part of a probe into the 2002 submarine sale.

A spokesman from Thales declined to comment at the time.

A spokesman for Naval Group also declined to comment but added: “We scrupulously respect all the relevant national and international legislations”.

Earlier investigations by Malaysian authorities did not find any evidence linking Najib directly to corruption in the deal.

Najib's aides did not respond immediately to requests for comment. Najib and his supporters have consistently denied any wrongdoing in the submarine deal.

The 1MDB scandal was one of the major reasons for Najib's election defeat. The fund is the subject of corruption and money-laundering investigations in at least six countries.

US authorities say US$4.5 billion was siphoned from 1MDB and about US$700 million was diverted into Najib's personal bank accounts. He has denied any wrongdoing.

 

Right timing: STI stays intact, but Hong Fok is at extreme overbought high

SINGAPORE (Mar 23): Although quarterly momentum appears ambivalent as it is consolidating beneath its own moving average, prices are intact. They have established support at the confluence of the 50- and 200-day moving averages which are moving into an increasingly positive stance at 3,217 and 3,186 respectively. The index may well be able to regain its 50-day moving average as short term stochastics is turning up from the bottom of its range. Since medium term indicators are neutral and drifting sideways, short term indicators could keep the STI afloat. However the range is likely to be ....
Read More >>

EY Singapore launches 18th edition of Entrepreneur Of The Year awards

SINGAPORE (Mar 22): The search has started for the 18th EY Entrepreneur Of The Year, as part of the bid to promote entrepreneurship and shape a new role model for the business community. Ernst & Young LLP, organiser of the annual awards, observes that entrepreneurs in Singapore, and the world, have built some of the world’s most enduring companies. The businesses they build don’t just create employment and contribute to the GDP. “Their creativity, tenacity and courage serve as an inspiration for many. In many ways, the way they overcome the odds, the power of their influence, a....
Read More >>

Challenger Tech's 2.94% shareholder says offer price too low, calls for higher dividend payouts

SINGAPORE (Mar 22): Pangolin Investment Management, which holds a 2.94% stake in Challenger Technologies through its Pangolin Asia Fund, is calling on other shareholders to reject Digileap Capital’s delisting offer at the company’s upcoming EGM.   Pangolin says the offer price of 56 cents per share, which translates to a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.9 times, is too low and thus unfair to minority shareholders. In a letter sent to The Edge Singapore on Friday, Pangolin explains its reasons for strongly advising other Challenger shareholders to reject the offer, which it deems “....
Read More >>